My name is Heather, and I am a young(ish) Canadian woman with a heart for travel, and a heart for God. It's amazing how the two can be combined, and having done a lot of travelling with friends (see the chronicles at the beginning of this blog of Laurie and I going around the world), I then chose to move to the arctic. In Nunavut I got a chance to work as a nurse in the hospital and meet some amazing people. I moved from there to an NGO ship called the Africa Mercy. I spent two years with Mercy Ships on the Africa Mercy and lived on the coast of Sierra Leone, Togo and Guinea. After completing two years on the ship, I returned home to Manitoba, ready to return to "normal" life.
Except after two years on a ship, nursing patients in a floating hospital, pouring out my heart in ways I never can quite describe adequately... there is no normal anymore. And as much as I loved being with the people at home who mean the world to me... when I felt called to return to the ship, my only hesitation was financial (silly, silly, me. You would think that I would have learned that trust lesson already).
And so, as of August 2014, as the ship makes it's way to Benin for the next 10 months, I will once again call the big white hospital ship home. I will live, eat and work onboard, along with about 400 other volunteers from all around the world. My job will include working as a paediatric(and adult) ward nurse, caring for pre and post operative patients who come to receive free specialty surgeries. The surgeries vary from "simple" surgeries to fix hernias or cleft lips, to more delicate plastic surgeries that give burn victims their motion back. Other surgeries include complicated facial surgeries to remove large tumors, orthopedic surgeries straightening crooked legs, and VVF surgeries to fix the women that leak urine uncontrollably. Last time I was on the ship I was lucky enough to work with all of these specialties at some point, and I intend to repeat that!
How long am I staying? August of 2016 is my planned end date. Hopefully there will be a trip home for vacation somewhere in there.
I ask for prayer along my journey.
If you're feeling like you wish to support me (it's a completely volunteer position) please see the page on how to support me.
This blog is really for those who know me, so they can follow me through the adventures of life. Knowing I'm putting this in a public place, I realize there may be random drop-ins who don't know me who decide to follow, and you are fully welcome, all I ask is that you respect my thoughts and beliefs as mine and not use this as a place to debate or argue.